The Indian Artist: Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone

Hello everybody! I hope you are all surviving the beginning of the hell that is finals season! I for one am very excited for the next two weeks to be over with so that I can go home and celebrate Christmas with my family. This blog post is going to be one where I share some updates on my current art piece and what I have learned along the way.

This current piece is the biggest that I have ever done, in a medium that I am very uncomfortable with but also very drawn to. I was commissioned by my mom to recreate a religious piece done by an incredible Indian artist whom I have featured on this blog before named Bijay Biswaal. The first time that I looked at this piece of artwork I was shocked. It is beautiful and breathtaking, and I never imagined ever being able to tackle it let alone recreate it.

I decided to take the surge of confidence and the feeling of empowerment that my last piece of artwork instilled in me and use it as a sense of momentum to carry me forward through this piece. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone.

As I have talked about before, my favorite thing to do with my artwork is to give up all control and throw myself into a piece without any expectations. However, this time was a little bit different. Maybe it was because I was creating it for my mother. Maybe it was because it had a religious subject that I did not want to get wrong. Maybe it was because I was just nervous to fail and waste supplies.
But I decided to have faith in my abilities and push myself. I decided to begin the largest piece that I have ever done, two feet by four feet. I decided to use a medium that I was not at all comfortable with, oil paint.
This piece has already taught me so much about myself. Even though. I still have a long way to go before I am completely done with it. I am so grateful that my mother pushed me to create this piece and that I was willing to take on the challenge. I have added some images of my progress thus far. I think the fact that it is not an original idea makes it a little bit easier to tackle and offers the perfect starting off point for even bigger oil paintings.

The biggest lesson that I have learned, and that you will hear me iterate time and time again, is just do it. Go for it. Start that project that you have in the back of your mind. Try that thing that you have a deep yearning for but are also terrified of. Push yourself. Push your comfort zone. Because not doing so, not allowing yourself the space to try, not allowing yourself to make mistakes, is the biggest failure of them all.

I will be writing a final blog post on this piece once I complete it and am able to tell you all the beautiful tale behind the scene being depicted!

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read my words and thoughts. As always, if anything that I discussed in this post stands out, or if any questions arise please feel free to comment and share your thoughts! And for all other artists out there, take that leap of faith. Step our of your comfort zone. Who knows, it may turn your whole word upside down.


Looking forward to next Monday!


~ Riya


Personal website:

Riya A

My name is Riya and I am currently a Senior at U of M studying Molecular Biology with a double minor in Art & Design and Sociology on the pre-med track. Art has been a huge passion of mine from a very young age and in the final iteration of my column, I look forward to sharing my passions as they connect to my culture, medicine, and art.

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